Funding extended for plant research network

4 Jun 2024

Researchers from LMU and other institutions are investigating how plants adapt – and can be adapted – to changing environmental conditions. Now the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre is entering a third funding period.

Plants have evolved remarkable capacities to adapt when under stress due to changes in environmental conditions. But what exactly do the strategies look like by which they respond reversibly in a matter of hours or days to things like fluctuating temperatures and light intensities? This is what the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre TRR 175 (“The Green Hub – Central Coordinator of Acclimation in Plants”), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is investigating. The focus of the alliance’s work is on the functions of the chloroplast. This organelle, where photosynthesis takes place, is an important hub, functioning at once as the main sensor and the target of important acclimation processes.

TRR 175 brings together scientists from LMU, the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU), Humboldt University of Berlin, and three further institutions to pool expertise in the biology of the chloroplast in the model systems of Arabidopsis, tobacco, false flax, Chlamydomonas, and Chlorella. Now the large-scale research network, which has been supported by DFG since 2016, is entering its third and final funding period.

“In the final funding period, we will look at the adaptation of plants to complex natural environmental conditions – just in time to get them fit for climate change,” says Dario Leister, Professor of Plant Molecular Biology at LMU and spokesperson for TRR 175. The goal of the research alliance is to predictably modify the cellular networks that mediate acclimation under natural conditions and contribute in the long run to smart breeding methods that can produce crops with enhanced adaptation characteristics.

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